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H.R. 1771: VA GORDIAN KNOT Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 29, 2017.


VA Guidance for Organizational Reform and Data Integrity for Accountability Needs Key for Necessary and Optimal Transformation Act or the VA GORDIAN KNOT Act

This bill directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to enter into an agreement for an independent assessment of its organization, which shall evaluate: (1) whether the VA's current organization is conducive to meeting its performance goals, and (2) the cost of providing hospital care and medical services to veterans at VA medical facilities compared to the cost of paying for such care and services furnished by a non-VA provider pursuant to the Veterans Choice Program.

The VA shall ensure that: (1) each VA medical facility has a hiring plan, and (2) each VA employee who voluntarily separates is afforded the opportunity to complete an exit interview.

The VA shall: (1) develop standard definitions for the actions that constitute the manipulation of data regarding scheduling health care appointments and the ways in which Veterans Health Administration employees are held accountable for such manipulation; (2) ensure that a single position in each VA medical facility and office is designated as being responsible for verifying the accuracy of reported health care data; (3) enter into an agreement for an independent assessment of whether such requirements improve the accuracy of VA data; and (4) study and report on VA health care data integrity and on costs relating to VA employees manipulating health care data, providing negligent management, and retaliating against whistleblowers.

The VA shall: (1) make publicly available on its website the current wait times for a veteran enrolled in the VA health care system to receive an appointment at a VA facility, (2) enter into an agreement for an assessment of the accuracy of such wait times, and (3) publish information regarding such assessment.

The VA may transfer specified amounts among its accounts to mitigate or remove any shortfall or justify not making such transfer.